Priest Arrested In Connection With Theft From South Hutchinson Church


The former pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in South Hutchinson was arrested Thursday in connection with money missing from the church.

A Reno County sheriff’s detective arrested Juan Gregorio Garza-Gonzalez, 51, of Wichita, just after 11 a.m., according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

In mid-February, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita contacted local authorities with questions about the finances of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Through the investigation, detectives determined that nearly $14,000 was missing from several different locations within the church, according to the release.

Garza-Gonzalez became the focus of the investigation. He had been pastor there since June 2018.

The diocese removed him on the weekend of March 23 from his position at the church.

Juan Gregorio Garza-Gonzalez

Garza-Gonzalez, charged with a single count of felony theft, was released Thursday on a $2,500 own recognizance bond. A future court date wasn’t immediately set.

Conviction carries a sentenc of 5 to 17 months, but is presumptive probation.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with pertinent information about the case is requested to contact the Reno County Sheriff’s Office at 620-694-2735,” Deputy Levi Blumanhourst said in a release.

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